Children forced to walk by mounds of trash on the way to school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Children forced to walk by mounds of trash on the way to school

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

A growing trash problem has been plaguing a Memphis community for months. 

In September 2016, trash piled up outside Fox Hollow Townhomes.

Now, just three months later, trash is still piled up outside the apartments.

The trash, everything from a used diaper to tires and food containers, has been a horrible sight for those living in the area. They want something done about it. Residents are worried for the safety of their children.

Clinton Knight, 6, has to walk by the pile of trash at the Fox Hollow Townhomes every morning on his way to school.

"I think that someone should clean it up," Knight said. 

City of Memphis is currently in environmental court to determine who is responsible for cleaning it up. But, for the last month, the pile has continued to grow without anyone doing anything about it.

"The last couple of months I've gotten tired of it," Randy, a tenant at the apartments, said. 

He did not want his last name to be used.

He has lived in the complex for three years. He said in the last year, trash at the complex has been a growing problem.

WMC Action News 5 investigators have been following the trash problem since September. 

The Department of Code Enforcement declared these buildings dangerous in August.

Residents said the trash is now affecting businesses.

"A lot of my clients, they're scared to come in here," Randy said. "It's dark, trash sitting everywhere. It's not a good look."

Residents said it is a health concern.

Community activist Patricia Rogers is concerned it could make children like Clinton Knight sick.

"We don't want our kids walking through trash," Rogers said. 

Rogers said putting a SkyCop up in the area to catch whoever is dumping the trash would help. She said that would help ensure Clinton can walk to school in a clean and safe environment. 

For residents, the possibility of a SkyCop in the area is progress for a complex that badly needs it.

The administrator for Fox Hollow Townhomes has been issued a court summons for code violations. That court date is scheduled for January 13.

Memphis released the following statement concerning Fox Hollow Townhomes:

The City of Memphis Solid Waste Management Department is a service funded solely by fee paying customers.  Fox Hollow Townhouses, as with any multifamily complex of more than 7 units, is authorized by ordinance to have its solid waste service provided by private contractors. The debris located at the entrance is on private property and was mistakenly tagged by a city employee.  We are providing additional training for solid waste violation tagging procedures.

By ordinance, the owner and/or tenants of any commercial or residential properties, including vacant lots and structures, not paying a fee for solid waste services are responsible for the removal of any solid waste placed at the curb, right-of-way or easement of their property.  It is the City's assertion that this debris in question at Fox Hollow Townhouses is placed in violation of City ordinance and on private property.  It is, therefore, the responsibility of the property owner, not the Department, to remove the waste and the charge of Code Enforcement to pursue remedy through the court system. 

Under the Neighborhood Preservation Act, the City anticipates lawsuits will be filed independently against the owners as well as the Association. The City plans to address this problem property, to include the use of our illegal dumping cameras to assist the owners in maintaining their properties and preventing the continual dumping from taking place. This is a private property operating as a condominium complex having multiple owners. It is the property owners’ responsibility to maintain the units in the complex and that includes the common areas.  We will insist that the Court orders Fox Hollow to place a fencing barrier to protect this property from illegal dumping and order those properties not fit for habitation to be demolished.

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